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Leadership at Home and Abroad
We recall the August day in 1989 when hundreds of thousands of people linked hands from Tallinn to Riga to Vilnius -- forming a human chain as strong as the values for which it stood. Today, that Baltic chain extends across the Atlantic Ocean. America's hands and hearts and hopes are joined as one with yours. Working together, we can build a new Europe of democracy, prosperity and peace, where security is the province of every nation and the future belongs to the free.
President Bill Clinton
January 16, 1997
Today, President Clinton meets with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to deepen our relations with the Baltic States. The centerpiece of the visit will be the signing of a "Charter of Partnership" that articulates common principals and objectives to guide relations among the four governments into the next century.
A Shared Vision of Peace and Prosperity. President Clinton's meeting with Presidents Meri of Estonia, Ulmanis of Latvia, and Brazauskas of Lithuania is an historic step to deepen our relations with the Baltic states and give new dynamism to our common interests in advancing the integration of the Baltic states into the European and Trans-Atlantic communities.
A Framework for Achieving our Common Goals. Today's signing of the "Charter for Partnership" provides the United States and the Baltic States with common principals and objectives to guide our relations into the 21st century. It:
A Partnership for the Future. America's security is tied to Europe, and Europe will never be fully secure if the Baltics' security is in doubt. In our increasingly interdependent world, America also has a stake in the Baltics' growing democracy and prosperity. Already Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have made significant strides in the efforts of political and economic reform. Through our SEED (Support for East European Democracy) assistance program, more than 500 Peace Corps volunteers, and in a variety of other ways, America has and will continue to work with the Baltic States to promote democracy, prosperity and peace.
- Affirms our commitment to promoting harmony and human dignity within our societies;
- Stresses our interest in close cooperation among the Baltic states and with all their neighbors;
- Launches new working groups on economic development to spur greater trade, investment and growth;
- Furthers America's commitment to help Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to deepen their integration and prepare for membership in the European Union and NATO.
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